We first see Dean when he is accosted by a street preacher who wants to know if Dean has thought about God’s plan for him. “Too freaking much, pal.” Shortly after, he gets a call from Castiel, asking about the Colt. Dean doubts it still exists, but Castiel hears differently. He thinks it’s the way to kill Lucifer (But is Lucifer a demon? Would the Colt kill an angel?)
Castiel wants to meet up but Dean begs for sleep. (So do angels not sleep, even when they’re in a human body?) Dean’s crashed out when his phone buzzes and it’s Sam, to tell Dean that he’s meant to be Lucifer’s vessel. “So Lucifer’s wearing you to the prom?” Dean asks wearily.
Sam wants back in, the “dynamic duo” again, not for revenge this time but for redemption. Dean is reluctant. They’re not stronger together, they’re like fire and water, and they should just pick a hemisphere and stay away from each other. The “thing” they have that they think makes them stronger—family, love—just ends up used against them. Dean thinks they have a better shot of avoiding the angels if they stay apart.
Dean hangs up and falls asleep, then awakens on a cot in a town trashed—cars turned over in the street, what looked like bombed out buildings. Actually reminds me of Dark Angel a bit. He encounters a little girl crying in an alley but when he goes to help her, she slashes out at him with a piece of broken glass. He punches her, and when he turns, he sees the word CROATOAN spray-painted on the wall of the alley, just before a gang of men chase him. He hits a chain-link fence and is going to have to turn and fight when a Hummer full of soldiers pull up and shoot the gang of men. Dean escapes, and when he slips out through the fence, he sees the date is 2014.
He’s driving along when Zachariah appears in the passenger seat reading headlines. “Croatoan pandemic reaches Australia. President Palin defends the bombing of Houston,” and Congress revoked the right to group assembly. The angels want him here for three days to see where his choices take him. This is what will happen if he continues to say no to Michael.
He heads to Bobby
’s. He finds an abandoned wheelchair with bulletholes and blood, but no Bobby. He finds Bobby’s journal (???) with a photo of Bobby and Castiel, among others, at a survival camp. When he arrives, the first thing he sees is his Impala, abandoned in a field. I’m almost as upset as Dean. Someone approaches and it’s Future!Dean. Seriously, shades of Dark Angel. Double Dean, double the pleasure. Is it weird I’m buying this scene completely, not thinking about how they did it?
Future!Dean wants proof of Dean’s story and Dean reveals a time when they (he?) wore a girl’s panties and kinda liked it.
The lightness ends there. Dean asks about Sam and Future!Dean says he heard Sam didn’t make it through a fight in Detroit, against some heavy-hitters. The brothers haven’t talked in five years.
The Croatoan virus hit major cities two years back and turned people into monsters.
Future!Dean leaves Dean alone, and Dean picks the cuffs by digging up the wooden floor and pulling out a nail. He walks out and encounters the Prophet Chuck, asking him about provisions. Then a girl comes up and accuses him of spending the night with another woman, and Dean laments that he’s getting in trouble for things he hasn’t done yet.
He finds Cas surrounded by women, and he shoos them away telling them to get ready for the orgy. Cass immediately recognizes that Dean is from the past, but can’t help Dean get home. Dean never does find Bobby.
Future!Dean returns and shoots one of his men in front of everyone. Apparently the man was infected by the Croatoan virus. Dean is appalled by his heartlessness and calls him on it, but Future!Dean isn't moved.
But Future!Dean has the Colt!!! WHEE!! The girl who smacked Dean wants to know how to find Satan, but Future!Dean says they have intel. Satan is in a hot zone, surrounded by “Croats,” people infected with the virus, and demons. Future!Dean doesn’t like Castiel calling him reckless, so Castiel says he’ll use the word insouciant.
Dean wants to know what is going on, and Future!Dean tells him Sam didn’t die in Detroit. He said yes to Lucifer, and Lucifer’s wearing him to the prom. Future!Dean wants Dean to say yes to Michael. BEGS him to, but knows he won’t. (Jensen, submit this scene to the Emmys, ‘kay?) Future!Dean says he tried to say yes, but now it’s too late, the angels are gone.
As they prepare for the mission, Chuck follows Dean. He tells him if he makes it back to 2009, to horde toilet paper like it’s made out of gold, because it is. (So if they attack Chuck, won’t the archangel come?)
Dean rides with Castiel. He says he’s glad the stick is out of his ass, but wants to know what’s up with the drugs and the orgies. Castiel admits he’s mortal now, powerless, hopeless. And adorable. (Okay, he didn’t say that, I did.)
Next shot is very Resident Evil, the survivors approaching the target with heavy-duty weapons. Only they’re not experiencing the resistance they expected. Future!Dean is sending Cas and the others as decoys as he and Dean go in the back. Dean says he’d never sacrifice his friends and Future!Dean says that’s why they’re in this mess. Future!Dean knocks Dean out for the second time.
When Dean wakes up he sees the windows lighting up with gunfire. He runs around to see a man with a shoe on Future!Dean’s neck. He snaps his neck and turns. It’s Sam in a white suit. Lucifer.
He’s talking strange, as if he’s not used to the language, though he’s been on earth 5 years. He tells Dean he was cast out because he loved God more than anything, and then God created man and asked angels to bow down before humans, to love humans more than God. Lucifer found them flawed and murderous, and God had him cast into hell for it. He was right, because the humans destroyed the planet, but blame Lucifer for it.
Dean accuses him of being the same as everything he’s hunted, the only difference being the size of Lucifer’s ego. Satan walks away, and Dean tells him to kill him now, because he’ll kill him. Satan tells him no matter what decisions he makes, the two will always end up in the same place, because Dean won’t say yes to Michael and he won’t kill Sam. He tells him he’ll see him in five years, then Zachariah shows up and touches Dean’s head. (My battery is running out! Ack!) Zac wants Dean to prove the devil wrong, to strike before Lucifer gets to Sam and billions die. (Nononononono!)
“Nah,” Dean says. He learned a lesson, but not the one Zachariah wanted to teach. Zac is mad, and stalks Dean, who disappears and ends up with Cas on the side of the road.
And then---YAY!!! Dean calls Sam!!! They meet on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere. Dean gives him the demon-killing knife…and an apology. Maybe they are each other’s Achilles heel, but they’re all each other has, and more than that, they keep each other human.
Sam promises not to let Dean down.
I’ve not rewatched any episode this season. The shows are so dark. The first thing my husband asked when it was over was if that ending was better. Not sure. But definitely more hopeful.